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Healthy Holiday Eating

Healthy Holiday Eating

Wednesday, 02 November 2011

6 tips to help you watch your waistline this feasting season

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  1. Eat regularly and never skip a meal so you can eat more later. You’ll be so hungry by the time you get to the goodies, you’ll tend to go for foods higher in fat, sugar, and calories over healthier options. Try to eat every 3-4 hours to help control blood sugars and keep your energy up. Have a snack after lunch instead of skipping lunch before your big dinner party!
  2. Focus on weight maintenance, not weight loss. Now is not the time to focus on losing weight. It’s important that you don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals.
  3. Give your favorite holiday recipes a makeover. You can cut 1/3 of the fat or the sugar in most recipes without even noticing. Try using low-fat plain yogurt instead of sour cream in dips (a great way to increase your calcium intake too). Substitute applesauce or low-fat plain yogurt for half the oil to reduce the fat in breads, muffins, and cakes.
  4. Beverages beware! Calories you drink still count, including alcohol, eggnog, and punch. The average alcoholic beverage contains between 150 and 450 calories. Try limiting your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two for men. If you do drink, try a 12-oz. beer or 5 oz. glass of wine.
  5. Remember the 80/20 Rule. What you eat in one day is not going to break your healthy eating routine; it’s what you do most days that really matters. Try eating well 80 percent of the time, leaving 20 percent to indulge in your favorite foods.
  6. Exercise is important too. Try to be physically active every day: park the car further from the shops, take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a brisk walk with friends before dinner, take up a winter sport! Physical activity helps regulate your appetite, relieve stress, and burn those extra calories from holiday foods.
 

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